Just few days ago Apple rolled out iOS 10.2 beta 2 earlier this week and one of the features that nobody noticed, but which could come in super handy, is Emergency SOS, which lets you call the police without anyone noticing.
Those familiar with the Apple ecosystem might remember that iPhones already had a way to secretly call the police by telling Siri to “charge my phone to 100 percent,” but Cupertino decided to remove it, most likely because everyone was aware of it, so the command wasn’t so discrete as it was supposed to be at first.
But with iOS 10.2 beta 2, Apple is testing a new Emergency SOS feature that makes more sense and is inspired from the Apple Watch, which also got similar functionality with watchOS 3.
Enabled by default
Specifically, starting this beta, and most likely with the stable version due in the coming months, iPhone users will be able to alert the police by simply tapping the power button five times. The purpose here is to be able to do the whole thing while your iPhone is in the pocket, so nobody around you can notice that you’re calling the cops.
Once you do that, the iPhone displays a three-second countdown that allows you to cancel the call should you have pressed the power button accidentally, but if no action is performed, the phone contacts the emergency services and provides information such as location. Of course, you must be living in one of the 14 countries that are supported at the moment, such as the UK and the US, but Apple will most likely expand this feature to more of them in the coming months.
By default, this feature comes enabled in iOS 10.2 beta 2, but you can disable it from Settings > General > Emergency SOS.
On the Apple Watch, those who want to discretely call the police can keep the side button pressed for five seconds, after which the same counter shows up before eventually alerting emergency services.